Roy Keane has been doing his attack dog impression on Sir Alex Ferguson again. Two fascinating characters to take a look at.

I’m sure Sir Alex isn’t perfect. I’m sure he couldn’t have been so successful without a cold ruthless streak. But having been ensconced in my own Gothenburg bubble the last couple of months (the free Gothenburg 83 book here) I’ve found myself thinking on that achievement. From one of the stories I learned that Ferguson saw the St Clair off at Aberdeen Harbour. This was new to me. Got me thinking how clever that was. 500 supporters travelling to a game on a 27 hour journey, that was going to be one mighty bonded unit when it arrived in Gothenburg. A solid block of the support, that would be so important for the game. Why not increase that bonding, hype it to the maximum, to show they were part of the team, before they left. See them off.

As most people are aware he and McGhee meet them back at the harbour. Why did he do that? There was no 24 hour media then. It was nothing more than a local news story at the time. His reputation was made well before Gothenburg as one of the most highly sought managers in the UK. Gothenburg had just become the cherry on the cake, that would in the opinion of Hugh McIlvanney (admittedly his friend) mark him down as the greatest ever British football manager, for that achievement alone. Ferguson was already a god to those on the St Clair, could those on the St Clair returning victorious to Aberdeen Harbour have loved him anymore than they already did?

But he did it. With nothing to gain. Thanking those supporters personally for their help on that momentous occasion. Doing nice things for people without seeking anything in return, surely that is a mark of a good person.

Keane now, is a beaut to analyse. One of his favourites for attacking Ferguson is on being asked who was the best manager he had during his career. He answers Brian Clough, very smugly. Ferguson signed him from Forrest. What the far less intelligent than he thinks Keane does there without realising, is remind everyone he was managed by two of the greatest football managers ever, and yet, the would be football manager, learned precisely fuck all. He has some charisma, he was a brilliant footballer, but ultimately, he’s an idiot.

From the video, he tries to criticise Ferguson’s man-management, in respect to how Keane felt he was treated at the end of his time at Utd. Singularly unaware even to this day, the expert in man-management was managing the team he had for the next game, the next few months, hence the necessity of having to remove the rotten apple who was causing trouble for team spirit while the team wasn’t performing well. Football teams go in cycles, a new one was being put together.

‘But I had done much worse’. Yes they had humoured you while you were a great player and the team was successful with you in it, you daft, self-entitled prick.

There is a real fight going on inside Roy Keane. And I suspect some of his other former players who went into management. The self belief that Ferguson encouraged and developed, that winning mentality that was fostered, that never giving up, never lying down, always fighting to the last, created some less than nice personality traits.

Gary Neville the peacemaker, a seemingly balanced and self aware individual, and I’d say a fair bit more intelligent than any of the others on that stage, still had that self belief to think he could be successful in Spain, in La Liga, without having managed before, or learned the language.

In fact it could be said the self belief Ferguson drilled into his players was similar to what (tax-free status) Eton drills into their pupils. Whereby a low functioning, sociopath with an upper-class accent, a tiny amount of charisma, and no work ethic or talent can see it as his god given right to be Prime Minister. Unlike Eton, the self belief that Ferguson got into his players led to developing great footballers and great football teams, again and again.

Keane is still playing for Ferguson in his head, still fighting the battles that never really existed. Someone needs to try switching him off, then on again.

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Jonny Hayes Aberdeen

The window is closed. Way hay. From what I saw on Twitter, quite a few were hoping for the return of Jonny Hayes. Helped along by someone insisting ‘they knew something’, and ‘it was definitely going to happen’. Well maybe it nearly happened, one never knows, but really? Did it nearly happen? Should we have been excited about the prospect?

Not for a second criticising Jonny Hayes. Comes over like a lovely bloke, and he was magnificent in an Aberdeen shirt, once McInnes got hold of him. But let’s remember, he left, for money. Quite understandably so, at that stage in his career. He has no idea what awaits after football, he, like all of them, need to maximise their income while they have the chance. Why would he end that stonking salary now? Would he have joined us on loan? Then he couldn’t play them. I think we’ve learned from that one. So, for financial reasons, I don’t think he was ever coming back, at the moment.

Then there’s football. This happens a lot, a player’s former reputation excites fans rather than what he’d actually be. He’s a couple of years older, at an age where pace starts to slip away. A big part of his game. And in the mean time, he suffered a broken leg, which will also have taken a toll on his speed/acceleration.

Still a very good footballer. But not the player we sold. We very much got the best out of him. Selling him at exactly the right time, for a considerable amount of cash, which those with a ‘Everything McInnes bad’ attitude will carefully forget.

Also we have McLennan, McGinn, Wright, Hedges, and possibly Wilson for the wings. Is five not enough? We needed another one? Perhaps Hayes as fullback, where he will presumably be moving to for the latter part of his career. Hayes was a great player, and was a great servant to the club, but just because McGinn came back, doesn’t mean Hayes would.

McGinn was only gone half a season. A bad thigh tear would have lasted that long. It’s almost like he didn’t leave. Had a long holiday in South Korea, earned presumably a huge amount of money on a paid off contract, decided South Korean hotdogs were not nearly as good as mock chop suppers, and came back, to what is definitely, oh yes it is Niall, his favourite club.

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There used to be a thing with Wayne Rooney. In my opinion, one of the most over-rated players in English football. Despite incredible talent, virtually never improved as a player unlike his team mate Ronaldo. He was unreliable, not a team player (team players don’t argue with referees on a yellow) often profligate in front of goal, and I’d say the latter years of Ferguson’s Man Utd would have won far more without him around.

Whenever Rooney was out injured for a period of time, his reputation got bigger and bigger. The longer people didn’t see him, just how bang fucking average he was, at that level, the more highly he was rated.

Bruce Anderson has played very few minutes for Aberdeen FC. And is for many a cross between Puskas and the second coming of Christ. Should he play, should he start? Or why might he not be starting?

There are two positions in football where confidence is everything. Goalkeeper and centre forward. You make a mistake, and you have cost a game, from which you could lose form for weeks or months, or possibly never recover. Left back, midfield, winger, you can make mistakes, you’ll get chances in a game to redeem yourself.

Why else might he not be starting? Well the awkward truth, you might be the reason. The Aberdeen FC support. Full of love and positivity for him, when you’ve not seen that much of him. How long did it take collectively, to decide on Big Sam. On Stockley, on Main? How many minutes, exactly? Before like Roman emperors, the thumbs down sign appeared, and that player was the subject of immense derision and negativity. Was it a full game? Maybe a game and a half. The Balon D’Or nickname, was not created out of affection. It was created to ridicule and destroy him.

So would you give Bruce six or seven games without scoring to find himself at this level? I don’t think the collective Afc support would. That’s why they get put out on loan, or used as impact subs. They don’t play him, to protect him from you, and I , the Aberdeen FC support. Confidence is everything in football. Particularly at that age. I remember a young Willie Falconer getting pelters from the Merkland End while warming up, before coming on as sub. He was 19 years old at the time. He went onto a fine career, but not with Aberdeen.

The players also play football every day, and are being monitored every day, we only get to see the tip of the iceberg. He plays when the manager decides, and any other opinion, is just wrong.


Dave Cormack has been at the club for a while now. Time for a closer look.

I should probably start with I have no doubt Dave Cormack is a good bloke, a passionate Dandy, exceptionally intelligent, exceptionally hard working, he will have some incredible talents that got him where he is today. He also, much like the rest of us, won’t like being criticised. Albeit, as with Stewart Milne, if he is a bit thin skinned, he can afford to go out and buy a thicker one.

The thing about Dave though, well at the time of writing it’s been an interesting few days regarding the naming of the training hub thang. I have no particular opinion on it, but it was interesting to observe the reactions. In retrospect, maybe it could have been announced with a little more subtlety. Perhaps a big old reminder of what he had financially contributed could have been gently dropped into a story 48 hours before the announcement. Everything is easy in retrospect.

You pay for it, you can paint it pink and call it Ermentrude if you want. Looking at the supporter reaction, it was more how long he had been associated with the club, that was an issue for those who had a problem, plus those associated with the club not appearing to have been honoured via a naming.

The following day was the pitch naming competition. Ouch. I wonder if that was planned, or at least rushed forward due to concerns at some of the backlash towards Cormack. I personally found this part, unbelievably insensitive. As I put into the meme on WIllie Miller’s achievements with the club. Let me just take that apart.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s name is not on the list, so we can deduct something bigger, one should hope, stand sized is planned there. Then nothing is planned for Willie Miller. Nothing. This deeply concerns me as to just who is in charge of our club.

Presumably there will be a Gothenburg Greats’ Stand. I’d imagine Dick Donald, or Donald Family stand will come too. Leaving one stand for? Who knows… There will of course be corners, bars, hot dog stands, walkways, and enormous bus queues to name after former players and managers. And hopefully a Teddy Scott pavilion at the training centre shouldn’t be beyond someone to come up with.

The number 6 should be retired from our club, and should already have happened. I personally think there ought to be a Miller and McLeish Stand. The central defensive partnership locked together forever. No disrespect to all the greats who left to go to better things, those two gave their entire careers to Aberdeen FC, and could have left a number of times. What they won together is phenomenal. There ought to be a statue of Willie with the trophy outside the stadium, and when Scotland gains independence from an openly corrupt Westminster, Union Street to become Willie Miller Avenue. It’s good having your own blog.

There is a serious point there though. Also Pittodrie has three stands, with no names. Nothing since the Dick Donald monstrosity was put up. Nothing to commemorate Chris Anderson, or anyone else associated with the club. They could have named the stands, and taken the names with them. We’ve already lost a Gothenburg Great. Sir Alex Ferguson has suffered a stroke and is 77 years old. Peter Weir only went into the Hall of Fame last year. Eric Black isn’t in yet. If anything happens to these people without them seeing what is being done in their honour, then fucking shame on you. Naming stuff after people, isn’t for us, it’s for them, and their families, to honour their achievements.

It all goes back to the uncanny feeling that Aberdeen Football Club has been in mothballs the last 25 years. Because Milne really isn’t interested in football, or Aberdeen FC. I also don’t think he is interested in money. That’s why Milne is so successful in business. He loves the deal, he loves building. I watched Willie Miller being inducted to the Hall of Fame, the body language between Milne and Miller was fascinating. A huge hug from Milne to Miller. Willie’s eyebrows almost went off the top of his head in surprise. Is the Willie Miller oversight, really an oversight?

This is revealing so much about those in charge of our club. Because it is our club. Milne has put X amount in, Cormack has put X amount in, but the biggest benefactor of all to Aberdeen FC is the supporters, who put in, what is it on a 15 million plus turnover per year, every year? Is it, all of it? It’s our club. Yet no fans’ representative on the board. No liaison officer, on big picture decisions. And while I’ve no doubt a lot of very good people work at Pittodrie, thay are hardly going to risk their jobs stating their opinions on the governance of our club. They can only be surrounded by yes men and women that they have appointed.

So when Cormack announced we could sell out half of Hampden for a semi-final a year back, a number of Afc employees would have known that wasn’t the case off the top of their heads. As it’s their job to know it. But they presumably weren’t consulted…

So a stadium eight miles from the city centre with a highly flawed transport infrastructure. We trust these people why? Oh no, mustn’t criticise the rich men, they may stop funding our club, they may walk away, and we are destroyed like that club that died? That’s the same man who ran up the debt. The same man who destroyed Pittodrie. His company has received an enormous amount of publicity through his association with the club. Like Richard Branson, every time he is in the media, is a free advert. He is the brand. His name on the company, he dresses in all black, the logo on the adverts is black. That’s not coincidental.

And talk of the investment from the US that Cormack has brought in. Investment? So they are investing money with a view to getting all that money back, and a whole lot more. What are they being promised? These people are not local, they are not Afc supporters, they have no emotional connection to our club. So they will want that money back, and then some. What on earth of the club’s future is being mortgaged?

I want to like them, I want to trust them, a training pitch named after Willie Miller, only if he wins the vote, jumps through the hoop, and what of those who lose? They have insulted some legends, just another bad decision, that’s you respecting our legends is it? It points to any scepticism on their suitability to lead our club forward to be bang on the fucking nose.


This was written after Rijeka and before the Dundee game. A few updates in it.

I’ve always backed McInnes, really appreciated what he has done, where we came from. The club’s current finances, compared to under Brown, the training facilities, that let’s face it, no disrespect to Bobby Clark*, but those are, and always will be, The Derek McInnes training facilities. He pushed, he bullied, he demanded, his work paid for, and after a shameful six year wait, he is about to get the training facilities Ebbe Skovdahl was begging for twenty years ago.

*Late update it’s now the Cormack training facilities hub thing. Did I dream a video on Red TV of Cormack telling Bobby Clark it would be named after him?

But right now, that team is rank, rotten awful. Albeit all of two weeks earlier we were deliriously happy against Hearts. This was gently pointed out by Dek in a post match interview, which was declared a dig at the support by the tabloid element in our support.

But the sheer fucking awfulness of those two Rijeka performances and the St Mirren one, on top off last season being ugly. We could have had a down year, if there was a better one around the corner. We need improvement, and we need to see it quickish.

In his defence, we had an exceptionally bad transfer window. Not of his own making. The Ryan Fraser money, that we’d all spent in our fantasy made up teams, never appeared. Getting Stevie May off the books, freeing up a salary for another player, fell apart because an agent did something stupid to someone who is ridiculously stubborn. McKenna not being made captain implies they expected an offer. No proper offer came in, but I suspect a rank, vile neoliberal, arsehole of a club tapped up the agent with a view to a cheap sale before the Scottish window closes.

That is a lot of bad luck. But we should be better. Curtis Main is the new Jim Bêtte noire of the Aberdeen support. This bit, fucking infuriates me. We just did this with Cosgrove. Have you, with the greatest disrespect, fucking cretinous goldfish, learned nothing from Cosgrove. You all thought he was shit. He is now probably a 2 million Championship centre forward*. You thought he was shit, because you made your fucking minds up after about two games. And then you tried to destroy him. And you are doing it again with Curtis Main. You’ve learned nothing. Main will be a cult player before Xmas. There is definitely something there as a squad player, and as McKenna learned from Árnason, it may well be he is part of Cosgrove’s development.

*Update in the three days since I wrote this, Big Sam is now a 50 million Serie A legend to be.

So the point I was going to make, after all he’s done for Aberdeen FC, surely he deserves three months to put together this season’s team. Can we not at least give him that. And if it doesn’t come together, fair enough, it’s time for a change.

I keep hearing the argument ‘he has taken us as far as he can’. Well maybe he has taken us as far as anyone can. And maybe the next manager, or the next five managers judging by Aberdeen’s previous appointments, won’t get close to that.

If you could exit via the gift shop. 27 Dandy t-shirts. 25 Dandy posters. The shop is on fire!


At best I thought a few blog articles of stories of Gothenburg, it became a 112 page eBook. As I didn’t write it, only compiled and designed it, I think I can say, it’s a great book. I kept it free as they aren’t my stories, and even if I’d charged with a view to a charity donation to the Supporters’ Trust (which was a strong consideration) those who contributed would need to pay to see their stories. I didn’t think that was fair.

It began just after my father died. I was stranded in central Aberdeen, staying in a hotel, waiting to find out when the funeral would be. We’ve all got to deal with these things. It was the long, hot summer of 2018, the World Cup was on. I went out one evening to a pub to watch a game, to try and get rid of the white noise from my head. Got chatting with this bloke about fitba, he’d been on the St Clair. So happy to hear about something, other than death and grief and having to deal with the sociopathic step mother from hell, I just wanted to know everything. I also realised I didn’t know the other ways, (what became the Harwich way), that supporters had taken.

I became aware quite quickly as the stories were coming in, that it would work. I was loving reading the stories, so others would too. I had considered putting a call out for an editor on social media. As I am neither an editor or writer. (You know, you’re on my blog!). But held off. I began to realise the stories worked in the words/voices of those telling it. And if I almost fell off my chair laughing at a story, or was just about moved to tears on another, so would others.

The memorabilia, the St Clair itinerary, the Heaven ticket, the programmes, match tickets, the newspapers, all of it so important to the history of Aberdeen Football Club. There was an element of historical document to it. I avoided doing any ‘clever’ design with them. They went in, as is, and as readable as possible. With none of us getting any younger, this needed documenting.

Every part of it was like a piece in a jigsaw coming together, to tell The supporters stories of Gothenburg. There are some beautiful patterns in the stories, that interweave. The rain, the alcohol, the price of alcohol, the fountain outside the Ullevi, the positivity, the sense of disbelief, the sheer awesomeness of The St Clair… I think we now know where Dandies go when they pass away. A nightclub called Heaven in Gothenburg in 1983 after that game. A nightclub where they are all deliriously happy, and they can moan about prices to their heart’s content. Dandy Heaven.

The illustrations, I wasn’t sure to put them in. It wasn’t about me. As the first stories came in, I began a few drawings. The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine artwork by Heinz Edelmann inspired me. The joy that is a big part of the art, and the song, this led to the rainbow appearing. (After all the rain, and what’s at the end of the rainbow). Visually it breaks up all the red, with the AFC colour palette being limited . I dropped in a few Beatles’ references in the artwork. A red submarine, The Fab 4, Magical History tour, and contrived a clunky connection after the event. Didn’t they say the Liverpool game began the whole journey towards Gothenburg.

Here’s to Gothenburg 83. Thanks abidy for your help.

If you haven’t read the book, it’s here, and it’s free.

aberdeen fc sheep

If you spend way too much time as a page admin on social media, you start to study behaviour patterns and get a feel for the mood of the Aberdeen FC support. The Dandy Dons has about 16000 followers between platforms.

Something to remember in the current unhappy Afc support mood. If we had won yesterday, there would have been about 6 posts on the main Facebook page, a few of which would have 600 plus likes, and hundreds of comments and shares. There would have been perhaps 20 posts in The Dandy Dons Group. There would have been hundreds, if not thousands of comments.

Both pages are currently as dead as that team that died, forget their name.

The Dandy support isn’t happy. The Dandy support goes very quiet on social media when the Dandy support isn’t happy. Those out there criticising everything, and they are absolutely right to be, still don’t represent the entire support. Only because the quiet majority, are keeping their cards close to their chest. No-one knows what the Afc support really feels collectively, other than they are not happy.  The Dandy support are currently sulking. The silence is deafening. It’s a bit like waiting for a new Pope to be announced. Will it be red smoke, or black smoke? Pies burnt again.

How the support will react, collectively and individually, won’t really be apparent until after Dundee. Even if there is a good performance, which appears very unlikely, they won’t be out of the woods. There needs to be at least five decent performances, a clear style change, some variety, and the defence needs to stop behaving like it has just met.

And McKenna. If he goes to Celtic for under 10 million, should lead to one very empty Pittodrie. If Celtic tapped him up, and if they make an offer, it was them, on the back of our subsequent crash, that team doesn’t get him cheap. Ideally not at all. That god-awful neoliberal monstrosity shouldn’t get to benefit from this situation.

The team’s positive spirit got broken by his transfer request. The agent knew that would happen, as did the team that tapped him up. The power of team spirit, the power of positivity, is incredibly important in sport. A big negative curve ball got dropped in just as relationships were being formed for the new season. That’s not the only reason for the last three appalling performances, but it’s part of it.

No matter what happens, at the very least, the manager, his players, and the directors, are on a written warning. Whether it’s the final one, who knows.

Cheer yourself up with 112 pages of Gothenburg Magic. The free eBook.

mcginn mcinnes

I don’t like to criticise McInnes. I’ve had no problem criticising other managers. It’s still very early in the season, a week ago, after Hearts, we were all in an exceptionally positive frame of mind, two defeats on the back of two very poor performances against good, but not exceptional teams, I think a bit of questioning is in order.

St Mirren were very good. I wrote an article about prospective future managers, and why the only job of football directors is to be able to spot talent in managers, so they are ready for a job finding a manager at all times. That guy at St Mirren is certainly worth watching for a bit.

Wilson, why so late on the park? Perhaps that one was the pitch. It was Gothenburg heavy, and last season he got overplayed too early in the season, and his hamstring went. Maybe it was that.

Curtis Main. Bit of a controversial opinion there. I like Main. I think there is something special there. Maybe not a regular starter but the shitehousery that took the ball out of the keepers hands, and then scored. We got ourselves a character. There’s a player there.

The middle of the park. Ojo looked very average on the back of previously looking like just what we needed. The midfield looked remarkably like last season’s crap midfield. Very concerning they could be out fought like that.

Niall McGinn’s importance. I wish he would stop using him as a sub. I think McGinn gives his teammates confidence by being there. He’s the one who can dig them out, do something special, and the rest of them play better with him on the pitch. We all know where he’ll be. We all know when he will double back on the defender to get that cross in. And so do his team mates. So why not start with him, to build momentum in a game. Then take him off at half time when he can’t play a full game.

In too many games we are outplayed in the first 45, and playing catch up in the second half. 10 minutes into the first half, we are waiting for the manager’s half time talk to sort them out. That points to poor preparation for games. Or too many changes, too often, fiddling with the team.

Our team were totally outplayed by St Mirren today. That’s not good enough. In the long run, we know McInnes has the ability to create something special. I still think it will happen this season. We will be considerably better than last season’s team. I happen to know no-one from Rijeka reads this blog. So I can say it here, I think Aberdeen will unleash hell on them Thursday. European night, under the lights, it’s what magical memories are made off.

If you are in a bad mood, cheer yourself up with some shopping in the Dandy Dons shop. Mod, goth, and heavy metal Dandy t-shirts, a lobster, some sheep and a tank.. In the words of Karen from Will and Grace ‘go buy some happy’. The Shop.


Scott McKenna may be gone by the time you read this, but as it stands he is currently still an Aberdeen player. Lots of rumours, lots of theories.

Important things to remember. It’s a sellers’ market. Aberdeen hold all the cards. McKenna is young, fast, strong, brave, skillful, left footed, still learning, a Scottish International and has four years of his contract remaining. Jim McLean would be proud of us on this one.

All of which add up to him being a potential captain for whoever signs him, for the best part of a decade, or with a potentially massive sell on value. In the current market, a snip at 12 to 15 million quid. A drop in the ocean for a considerable number of English clubs.

In addition thanks to the genius of Jurgen Klopp, the concept of a Scottish international footballer being a very good addition to your team has become a reality again. I wouldn’t underestimate the Andy Robertson effect.

I don’t think there are any facts out their other than, he has asked for a transfer, Aston Villa and others, including Celtic have had bids turned down in the last 12 months.

There are odd inconsistencies in the media reporting. That is the Glasgow media reporting. While they are happy to aid their Old Firm masters by lying about the value of their players, Morelos 30 million deal to China amazingly fell through. No shit. And the pushing of the value of the Celtic fullback to Arsenal would lead one to believe enormous sections of the media are in fact on commission for the deal, McKenna’s value is being kept suspiciously low. It’s almost like the media and the Old Firm work together…

Seven million is the particular inconsistency that keeps coming up. Aberdeen apparently turning down 7 million last year from Villa, but now want 7 million for McKenna. Last year McInnes stated he had a figure he believed was the player’s value, he never stated publicly (why would he) what that was. My guess it’s 10 million plus.

Others have said the issue relates to installments. I think installments would probably be ideal for Aberdeen. If they were to receive, let’s say 12 million, they will receive a hell of a tax bill in twelve months time, if they haven’t re-invested it. Over four years would probably be perfect.

As others have stated, it appears Aberdeen have been ready for this. No disrespect to Joe as captain, but an outfield player is the more standard captain position. If Devlin could stay fit, or McKenna was going to be around much longer, it would be one of them.

I hope the club stay strong on this. I’m sure McInnes knows exactly what he is doing here, the directors, despite their enormous personal wealth… well we’ll see. His value will be just as high in twelve months (subject to Brexit, which is probably what is spooking the agent), and we’ll have a brilliant centre half for the season if he stays. He’ll get over his sulk.

And if you could just exit through the Dandy Dons gift shop.


There’s a lot of flack aimed at Sam Cosgrove on social media at the moment for missing some chances against RoPS. Worth just looking back at last season for an overview on Big Sam.

Last season we started poorly, and never really dug our way out of it. We were not in, or near relegation, or even missing a top six place, as in many of the seasons pre-McInnes, but we were largely not playing as well as we had been under McInnes.

The lack of goals exacerbated the problem, our forwards Cosgrove, May and Wilson all wilted under the pressure. Our midfield, led by the left back who wouldn’t play left back, were creating nothing. Chances weren’t being missed, they weren’t even created during the early part of the season.

Cosgrove’s link up play was always good. He could hold and lay off the ball well. There was a player there. With the pressure building and considerable negativity and pressure hitting the team from the terraces and social media, Big Sam started to find the back of the net. This would lead to 21 goals for the season. We had a proper number nine. Rough at the edges, but young, learning and improving.

He started scoring as the Ballon d’Or nickname was taking off. The nickname that was designed to ridicule and destroy him (an act of cuntery) then became fun. We are laughing at him for being shit by giving him an ironic nickname, and it turns out he’s actually quite good… wait a minute, who’s the idiot in this scenario?

So let’s remember what the 21 year old Sam Cosgrove achieved last year. While Wilson and May caved under the pressure – and I like them both – it was Cosgrove who shouldered the responsibility took all the flack, and delivered.

He missed a few chances against RoPS, but with the penalty kick, he again took the responsibility. Cosgrove is the real deal. He has earned that chance to lead the line, and re-sharpen the killer touch for a while yet. We need to be better at backing our players.

And if you could just leave via the gift shop


As I have been putting together the book of your stories of Gothenburg 83, this has triggered some of my own long forgotten memories of that time – by the way George RR Martin has been in touch regarding the book, asking me why it’s not done yet.

The European song, the white vinyl, I had the single. But that wasn’t my European song. Fifteen year old me, living in the home of the stepmother from hell (Buckie), had introverted completely into myself, and only football and music mattered. My world was locked in.

My version was a little more European than The European Song, and begins just as couthie (if that’s the word), and also significantly for how my brain made the switch, I had it on the album, in red vinyl. This was my European song. The song I will forever link with Gothenburg. The one piece of light, in a dark, abusive world.

Thanks Sir Alex. Crank it up.


Imagine just one day of being a blond, blue-eyed 21 year old multi-millionaire Manchester Utd player. To walk into the colosseum of Old Trafford knowing 70000 people are coming to watch you, with a worldwide audience of hundreds of millions. The pressure, the excitement, the adrenalin. Plus all the perks. All the perks.

Just to experience one day of that.

If you look into James Wilson’s face, you can almost see it. The face is young, but the eyes, the eyes have seen stuff. Experienced stuff that you and I…

Carry on Buckie

I will now share a story I shouldn’t. In the late seventies my father managed a hotel in Buckie. Staying in the hotel as their base during pre-season training and friendlies for a week, was Motherwell. Then managed by Jim McLean’s brother Willie. There were a fair few ‘shenanigans’.

Between double training sessions, the players were to rest in their rooms. Willie McLean did a room check at midday one day. There was a woman in every room. Prompted by me, my dear old Dad recalled the story to me from his care home not long before he died. ‘I could still bribe half the women in Buckie to this day…’ with a wicked lopsided smile. Easy ladies, the gentleman that he was never told. Despite my attempts. My mother said ‘they were virtually queuing for it on the back fire escape’. Then adding with a look of exasperation ‘For Motherwell players!’ Aye, my Mum knew her fitba.

Anyways the point being, I forget. Oh yeah, to have been a young Manchester Utd footballer.

Carry on James

Last season must have been incredibly hard for Wilson. Psychologically, that contract running down, fears of another long term injury, desperate to prove his worth, and carrying the ‘Manchester Utd player’ tag around all the time. A long slow slide from the peaks of playing for Man Utd, the next big thing to almost being out of football. There’s a very nice bank account by way of compensation, but not easy to deal with.

Now those negative pressures are off. He’s an Aberdeen player, he’s familiar with the people, he knows he’s wanted, he can get on with playing football. And he may well become a very large fish in a small to medium sized pond. Here’s hoping.

p.s. If you know any women from Buckie, late fifties, early sixties, ask them about Motherwell. And see if their eyes light up.

Gothenburg map

I wasn’t in Gothenburg, I don’t have any good anecdotes, but just a few silly memories I’ll share here.

I was 15 at the time.

Number 1.

Involves my dear old Dad, who passed away last year. Me and my Dad were maybe going. I really didn’t think we could, times were exceptionally difficult, it was the worst time in my life. He had a business that was struggling and I was psychologically, barely surviving as an exceptionally unwelcome guest in the home of the step mother from hell.

But out of all that, there was the fitba! So as the day is getting closer, in the kitchen of his restaurant, he took me to one side. We aren’t going. And then he said the most brilliant thing. ‘We will try and go to next year’s final’.

That was all I needed. And what is so lovely about that, not just a great Dad, being a great Dad, but our team was so flipping good, we could make plans for the following year’s Cup Winners Cup final!

And if you know the history(!) only a bribed referee stopped that final happening.

Number 2.

The ten year anniversary. I lived in London in 1993. The Cup Winners Cup final was at Wembley. I went along as our unofficial representative. Serie A team Parma with Sweden’s Thomas Brolin beat Royal Antwerp. I thought a lot of Aberdeen during the game. Trying to put them into that spectacle. It was already a world away. Wondering at the achievement from a decade previous.

Number 3.

Gothenburg. I did the pilgrimage.  In the nineties. Interrailing in February alone, like a madman. It was fab. Travelling between Stockholm and Hamburg. Quite the train journey, with a planned hour and a half break in Gothenburg to see the Ullevi. 

Tourist information at Gothenburg train station, the most beautiful blond Scandinavian stereotype I’ve seen in my life is at the desk.

How do I get to the Ullevi Stadium?

No you can’t go. There is no game, it is closed.

No you don’t understand. And, I don’t have long, my train is leaving shortly. I want to go to the Ullevi.

No there is no game today. No Ullevi today.

In a hurry, just want to see the stadium.

Not today. Bored blond goddess, keeps explaining, there is nothing happening there.

Eventually I explain the whole Aberdeen, Real Madrid, by far the greatest team, Johnny Hewitt and my next train is soon. I just want to see the empty stadium.

Not for the first or last time in my life, an attractive blond woman’s eyes glaze over as I explain something important.

With a cold dead stare, she points in the direction of the Ullevi. (within walking distance of the train station!!)

At the stadium. Oh yes. Just wow!

Would you believe, but it was closed. High on, I don’t know, Gothenburg fever, Ullevi magic dust, Fergie’s pre-match talk still lingering in the Swedish air, I come up with a cunning plan.

If I get stopped by security, then explain the whole Johnny Hewitt thing, they’ll take pity on me, before ye know it I’ll be at the centre circle. May even get to kick a fitba on the turf.

I am prepared to act like a nuts loner, to get inside the Ullevi. I’m not even sure myself at this point if I’m acting.

So in an effort to alert security to me being there, I attempt to climb a very large gate. Very unconvincingly. Again and again I try to get in, and again and again I slip down after getting about a third of the way up. 

Where’s the effin’ security?!

Nothing. After close to an hour of this fuckwittery ’shenanigans’ I head for my train. 

I reached the Ullevi. I saw the hallowed stadium, the beautiful Swedish curves. I touched the walls. I could see inside through the gate. I saw the pitch. I slid down the gate loads of times. There’s probably an amusing CCTV video somewhere. I beamed a huge smile passing the tourist information desk at the station. She blanked me.

So that’s me and Gothenburg. Without me even delving into my Zlatan anecdote which is kind of, almost related.

The book is coming along, of your Gothenburg stories. My stories are not going into the book, your stories are bound to be better than that. Get writing. you’ve a couple of weeks tops.


As those who were in Gothenburg and experienced the glory of 1983 are not getting any younger, this is to collect as many stories, anecdotes, good, bad, funny, serious whatever as possible. Those that were there, the journey, the day after, those that were on an oil rig, back in Aberdeen watching on telly, at the day they came back with the trophy, everything Gothenburg. Stories from Munich, Sion, all that led to and became The Glory of Gothenburg documented permanently. Not match reports, not about the games or players, about the supporters, by the supporters.

Stories can be shared publicly in the comments, or can be messaged, or emailed to The Dandy Dons. They could be in as anonymous, or by name.

The collected stories will be released as a free to download PDF. I have had a brief look at other places for free content, perhaps ISSUU, Amazon and iBooks appear a bit tricky with free content.

Originally I’d thought about making it for sale with all proceeds going to the Afc Community Trust, but don’t think you should have to pay to read your own stories.

If a company is interested in sponsoring it. Logo on the front, a full page advert inside, obviously you’d get to read it first to check it was okay, in return for a donation to the community trust. Then get in touch if interested. You would be paying directly to the Community Trust.

There is still time to get your stories in. It could be just a couple of sentences, a whole page or a chapter if you have something to say. Middle of July is when I’d like it in. As deadlines concentrate the mind!

If you want to get in touch directly, do it here

It’s just a book for supporters, nothing else. No one will make money out of your stories.